Patient Information Resources

Alpine Physical Therapy
Three Locations
In North, South, and Downtown Missoula
Missoula, MT 59804
Ph: 406-251-2323
Fax: 406-251-2999

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I hurt my neck the other day when I fell and I was sure I'd hurt a disc, but my doctor said it was torticollis. What's the difference and how can he tell?

Torticollis, like a herniated disc in the neck, can be very painful, but torticollis affects the soft tissue in the body, like the muscles or ligaments, or the nerves, not the discs.

Adults who get torticollis usually get it from a trauma to the neck, such as turning too hard, being in an accident, falling, or something similar. The ligaments, which stabilize the muscles, can stretch or tear, causing the pain. More rarely, tumors or infections can cause the pain of torticollis. Most often, it is treated with a soft neck brace or collar, to keep your neck stable, medications for the pain, heat to the site and maybe physiotherapy. Your doctor will recommend what is best for you.


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